In this opinion he was joined by another educated person present'.(Bishop Polding, 1845) In 1967 after a federal referendum on the topic, Aborigines became citizens and were allowed to vote in state and federal elections.Dispersing across the Australian continent over time, the ancient peoples expanded and differentiated into hundreds of distinct groups, each with its own language and culture.Four hundred and more distinct Australian Aboriginal groups have been identified across the continent, distinguished by unique names designating their ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech patterns.The first recorded outside contact with Aboriginals was with Dutch sailors such as William Janszoon and Dirk Hartog in the early 1600s.They were travelling from Holland to the Dutch Colonies in Indonesia, (the Spice Islands), and decided to leave the 'Island' alone.A recent study by Irina Pugach of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, and her colleagues, which has just been published in the , has apparently resolved the matter.
When expostulated with, he maintained that there was nothing wrong in it, that it was preposterous to suppose they had souls.
The Australian Aborigines represent the oldest example of continuous human culture in the world.
The remarkable longevity of their culture is unique in the modern world, and raises several fundamental questions about the path that 'Western civilisation' is currently following."To those who judge the degree of a culture by the degree of its technological sophistication, the fact that the Australian natives live in the same fashion now as they did thousands of years ago may imply that they are uncivilised or uncultured.
In 1804, settlers were authorised to shoot unarmed Aboriginal people, following which the wholesale slaughter of Aborigine culture began.
'I have myself heard a man, educated, and a large proprietor of sheep and cattle, maintain that there was no more harm in shooting a native, than in shooting a wild dog.